INTRODUCTION (1978)

World Trek was originally the brainchild of Keith and myself (Dave) who, in 1970, conceived the idea of a round-the-world motor tour.

The project passed a very long gestation period, serious work beginning in the summer of 1972. Late in that year, we began overhauling and preparing our vehicle (named "Orodruin"; from J. R. R. Tolkien's book "The Lord of the Rings") and equipment, a process which continued at an ever more frenetic rate until our departure in July 1974.

Late in 1973, Keith's friend Rik came into contact with the "Expedition", as it was then called, and expressed a desire to undertake a similar run himself. Orodruin, being a short-chassis Land Rover, was too small to accomodate three people on a long run; so it was agreed that, if Rik could prepare a second vehicle, and introduce a fourth crew-member, he would be welcome to join us. This he did, the second vehicle ("Shadowfax") being again a short-chassis Land-Rover, of similar type (early Series IIA) to Orodruin.

Commencing with the serious work in late 1972, I had begun keeping a diary of technical work completed, information received, etc. This developed on the journey, into a regular Logbook. An edited version of this Log follows, the editing chiefly involving the insertion of explanatory notes (usually in parentheses within the main text), and the deletion of items of a purely personal or technical interest, or of an unduly repetitious nature. Technical information of more general interest is summarised in the Appendices. To retain as much vividness and immediacy as possible, no attempt has been made to alter the original diary format. [Further notes (2004) added in italics.]

The edited version of the Log commences about one month before our departure from England, covering our final preparations. At that time, I was living in a house (the Dell) just north of Edgware, in London; while Keith, Rik and Brian were sharing a house in Colindale, about 4 miles south of the Dell.

Besides factual records, this Log also records our own impressions of people and places. In many instances, these may be downright naive. They are nevertheless, the impressions we formed at the time, all of us being somewhat inexperienced world travellers.

The journey was originally planned for a timescale of 5 years, in three phases, viz.,

  1. England to Australia.
  2. North and South America.
  3. Africa and back to England.
This Logbook records the history of Phase 1.

[In the event, we all decided to settle in Australia, so Phase 2 never materialised.]

NOTES

Times given in the log entries are on a 24-hour scale, followed by a letter indicating the time-zone. The letter indicates the number of hours ahead of G.M.T., with "A" indicating 1 hour ahead (i.e. B.S.T.), "B" indicating 2 hours, and so on. Where a zone is, say, 4 hours ahead, this is shown as "D+".
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Copyright © 1974 - 2004 David R. Brooks
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